Familiar faces set to take on the mighty Ben Nevis

Stourbridge News: Preparing for their walk up Ben Nevis - Ian Austin MP, Deputy Mayor - Cllr Steve Waltho, Cllr Dave Tyler, Shaz Saleem - chairman of Dudley Private Hire and Taxi Association, and Cllr Adam Aston. Buy photo: 281410LA Buy this photo Preparing for their walk up Ben Nevis - Ian Austin MP, Deputy Mayor - Cllr Steve Waltho, Cllr Dave Tyler, Shaz Saleem - chairman of Dudley Private Hire and Taxi Association, and Cllr Adam Aston. Buy photo: 281410LA

A GROUP of familiar Dudley faces are heading north for a tribute trek in honour of a local hero.

Kingswinford North and Wall Heath Councillor Dave Tyler and Kingswinford businessman Shaz Saleem are among a group of borough civic figures getting set to take on Ben Nevis to raise charity cash and pay tribute to mountaineer, peace campaigner and fundraiser Bert Bissell.

Dudley North MP Ian Austin, the Mayor’s consort Councillor Adam Aston, and the Deputy Mayor - Councillor Steve Waltho - will also be heading up the mountain on Wednesday August 6.

Mr Bissell, who died in 1998 aged 96, lived in Dudley and founded the Young Men's Bible Class at Vicar Street in the town.

He climbed Ben Nevis more than 100 times, including on VJ Day in 1945. He also built a peace cairn at its summit.

He was made a freeman of the borough in 1981 and there is a monument to him at Coronation Gardens opposite Dudley Council House.

Labour MP Ian Austin said: “He was a legendary figure and an inspiration to so many of us.

“I’ve often thought we ought to do something in his memory and climbing the mountain he conquered so many times to raise money for local charities seems a fitting tribute.”

Cllr Waltho added: "We also intend to visit Bert’s grave and hopefully re-kindle a civic link with Fort William by meeting one or more of their members."

Half of the money raised from the trek will go to the Mayor's charities - Action Heart and Guide Dogs - and the rest will be split equally between the children's unit at Russells Hall Hospital, the Royal British Legion and Black Country Fast Aid to support local ambulances.

To sponsor the team visit www.bertbissellmemorialwalk.co.uk

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